Tuesday 21 May 2019

Fionnuala Britton second in Great Ireland run

Fionnuala Britton
Fionnuala Britton

Cliona Foley

Defending champion Japheth Korir and former women's winner Gemma Steel won the elite titles at the 13th edition of the Spar Great Ireland Run today.

But Fionnuala Britton produced a gutsy run to take second just four seconds behind reigning European cross-country champion Steel, her best ever result in the event.

Britton overtook Spain's Alessandra Aguilar in the last kilometre and held her off in a terrific tussle for runner-up, finishing in 33:07 to the Spaniard's 33:11.

The particularly windy conditions still did not deter the elite Africans who dominated the men's race.

Former World Cross Country champion Korir still clocked 28:15, six seconds clear of Ethiopia's Birhan Nebebew  with fellow-Kenyan James Rungaru another second adrift in third and world 10km record holder Leonard Komon fourth in 28:28.

The GloHealth Irish 10km championships are run in conjunction with the mass-participation event which drew 6000 runners yesterday so Britton also retained that title and Mullingar's Mark Christie, who was eighth overall, won the national men's title with a time of 30 minutes and 10 seconds.

There was plenty of Irish interest in the men's elite mile but the top three across the line were visitors. Britain's Johnny Hay won it in 4:12, pipping Holland's Wouter Ploeger and Spain's Marc Alcala.

Two-time European medallist Mark English, who'd never before raced the distance, found the pace a little too hot for him and pulled up at the 1200m mark and Letterkenny's Danny Mooney was the first Irishman home in sixth (4:16).

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